Hard work, dedication and perseverance are hallmarks of Renee Fontenot Free and her life of service to her family and to the people of Louisiana. The Lake Charles native and oldest of four children and the only daughter, Renee had to learn responsibility at a young age. At age 13, Renee became a caregiver to her two younger brothers when her mother had to leave for extended periods of time for more than two years to care for her youngest brother in Houston as he battled cancer.
The lessons she learned served her well as Renee attended McNeese University and then moved to Baton Rouge to attend Southern Law School, the first in her family to earn an advanced degree. Upon graduation, Renee worked for a judge and practiced law before working in the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s office from 1990 to 2004, serving as Section Chief beginning in 1995.
In 2004, Renee moved to the Secretary of State’s office and played a key role in merging the office with the Department of Elections. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Renee was instrumental in rebuilding our election system from the ground up. . . literally.
Renee spent the next several years as the First Assistant Secretary of State rebuilding the elections infrastructure, and helping to build an elections system that is the envy of the nation. In 2008, she returned to the Attorney General’s office.
In rebuilding our communities after the hurricanes, Renee learned first-hand what can be accomplished when officials set aside political differences and work together for the greater good of the people.
Renee has worked for five Attorneys general, and three Secretaries of State.
Her entire career has prepared her to do this job, and is the only candidate who can credibly claim that politics will never play a part in a Secretary of State’s office under her leadership.
Renee sees the Secretary of State’s office as a sacred trust in service to the people of Louisiana, and not as a political stepping stone. As the only candidate with relevant experience and knowledge in the working of the Secretary of State’s office, Renee is uniquely qualified to restore confidence in the office.